Local religious leaders respond to U.S. embassy in Jerusalem

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The United States officially relocated its embassy to Jerusalem, a move that was met with protests along the Israeli-Gaza border.

A decision tossing aside decades of precedent met with praise and criticism.

Rabbi Neal Katz of Congregation Beth El said the new embassy is a cause for celebration, even though the move is mostly symbolic.

"I think it's a positive step forward, and I'm very excited that it's happening. I understand that it comes amid a lot of turmoil, but it's the right move, and it was the right move when it was suggested in 1949," he said.

Longtime pastor James Dill said there is also a biblical background that verifies this decision.

"I could not be more thrilled that the headquarters, the capital has been moved to Jerusalem because it is biblically sound and based," Dill said.

But the move is still sparking deadly clashes between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli military.

"It was said that it was going to happen, but it's still the right move, and it's unfortunate that people are dying or being wounded on the Gaza border in their protest. And so I pray for a peaceful reconciliation there," Katz said.

Even with peace at the forefront of discussion, it still isn't clear if the new embassy will help or hinder this process.

Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.